Govt mulls banning transgender individuals from entering mosques in FT

KEMAMAN (Bernama): The government is looking into emulating Perlis in banning “mukhannath” or transgender individuals from entering mosques in the Federal Territories.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Ahmad Marzuk Shaary said the action of the religious authorities in Perlis was appropriate to maintain the sanctity of the mosques and avoid confusion among the community.

"I am speaking in the context of the Federal Territories because that is within our jurisdiction. For other states, it’s up to their respective religious authorities. If we want to encourage other states to follow what is being done in Perlis, we have to look at the seriousness of the cases that occur (in the states).

"For me, what Perlis is doing is something that can be emulated because if a man enters a mosque wearing headscarves, it is very inappropriate. If a man enters Muslim women’s section (of the mosque), it will disturb their privacy. But if they come (to the mosque) to repent, then it’s okay,” he told reporters after launching the Inspirasi Qaseh Kami: Food Bank YaPEIM 3.0 Di Kemaman programme at Stesen Teksi here Friday (Sept 24).

However, Ahmad Marzuk said, so far, the department had not received any information or reports regarding transgender individuals in mosques.

The Perlis fatwa committee has declared that men who appear like women, such as cross-dressers or transgender individuals, are forbidden from entering mosques while not in gender-conforming appearances because they would “disturb the worship environment of mosques”.

The decision was made during the committee’s meeting on June 23 and 24, and posted on the Perlis mufti department website. - Bernama

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